The man to replace Mile Jedinak as Socceroos captain has finally been announced with Mark Milligan awarded the honour ahead of fancied candidate Trent Sainsbury.
The 33-year-old was expected to retire from international football after the World Cup but after performing well in Russia, coach Graham Arnold convinced the Hibernian utility to stay on until at least the conclusion their Asian Cup campaign and take over from Jedinak, who stepped away from the national team in October.
"As we embark on a new era we look to leaders like Mark," Arnold said.
"Mark has been a part of the national team for 12 years now. The experience gained over that period is invaluable to our squad and his leadership on and off the park shines through every day.
"I have known Mark for a long time. I worked with him when he was the youngest member of our 2006 FIFA World Cup squad, and he has grown as a player and person over the years."
Milligan will make another decision on his international future after the Asian Cup, with Sainsbury waiting in the wings to take over the role.
While he has captained the Socceroos on 11 occasions previously, this will be the first time he leads the team as outright skipper.
“I am extremely humbled by the opportunity. I acknowledge it is a significant responsibility and it is one which I look forward to," Milligan said.
"We have had many great leaders over the years, who I both played alongside and admired as I grew up watching the national team. It is a huge honour to be joining them and I look forward to fulfilling the role with the support of our leadership group.
"We have a great culture within this squad and with the support of the leadership team we will continue to build on a new era for the Socceroos.
"We have a great challenge ahead of us at the AFC Asian Cup but we will travel to the UAE in the knowledge that we are well prepared.
"We have some exciting new players in the squad as well as some players who have been around the national team for a long time, which provides a good balance."